Help! Can I Live With Horrible Sex?

4 Min Read

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HELP! Can I Live With Horrible Sex?

Dear Armchair Psychologist
I once had a relationship that was a rollercoaster and a disaster but that had incredible passion and sexual energy. We were soulmates. My current relationship is with a boyfriend who's stable and a great partner. In the beginning, things were great with my current boyfriend, and we had passion/sex around the clock, but now there's no connection. We had sex the other day and he stopped in the middle of it and walked away? He said he wasn't feeling it. I feel like I'm in a relationship with a platonic best friend. How do I figure out what to do and is it ok to keep my options open? I'm so afraid of losing something important to me. Basically, I think I'm in love with two people for different reasons. I'm trying to give what's in front of me more time but I can't deny the other love from the past — and it's louder than ever lately. My ex-BF has a ton of passion and current BF does not — how do I choose?
- My Nightmare Life

Dear My Nightmare Life,

I'm sorry that you're experiencing this dilemma. It's hurtful and easy to take it personally when a partner isn't responding sexually. You say that your current beau isn't interested in sex, but he is otherwise a great partner and that your ex provided a relationship filled with passion but also volatility. There exists a term called hedonic adaptation and many studies have been done on how this term applies to couples. It means "the observed tendency of humans to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes." In short, you only stay happy or passionate for a specific time until you return to where you started. It's applied to what happens to couples' sexual passion when they have moved on from the newer, exciting first phase of a relationship and into a companionate love phase, which is a phase of stability and indifference. Perhaps your current boyfriend is experiencing this?

I've been in relationships before where I begrudged my lovers' stale, routine sex, and began longing for the initial fire and passion — just feeling that things weren't right. Apparently, according to evolutionary science, if we were in the happy, passionate, and sexual stage all the time, we'd never get anything done like work, child-rearing, etc. The brain is essentially hard-wired for variety and surprise. Here's a great study on how to avoid hedonic adaptation.

It's ok to let yourself have nostalgia about the past and also miss someone you once loved. It's also very possible that because of the lack of healthy sex in your current relationship, you're idealizing the connection you had with your ex and neglecting that it was a disastrous relationship. It is also possible your current boyfriend isn't a good match for you and that you lack compatibility. However, you owe it to yourself and to him to have a real dialogue about your grievances and decide to either add some variety and surprise to your love life or just break up. If you decide to work on this relationship, break the routine and visit a qualified therapist together.

- The Armchair Psychologist

HELP! My boyfriend is jealous of my brother!

Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I've been in a relationship with a wonderful guy for two years. He loves to show me a great time, he takes me to dinners and listens to me, etc. The problem is that whenever I make plans to hang out with my brother, who is one year older than me, he gets jealous. My brother and I are very close, he's one of my best friends, and we always laugh and have a great time together. I've tried to bring my boyfriend around my brother but he acts awkward, jealous, and overprotective. My brother has pointed out how controlling my boyfriend seems after he told me to "simmer down" about a conversation regarding exes. He's even suggested my brother and I are incestuous. I love my boyfriend, but he's really getting on my last nerve. What should I do?
- Family First

Dear Family First,

It's refreshing to hear how much you love your sibling, which is very healthy and ideal. Your boyfriend may be a nice and caring guy, but he has a lot of work to do in regards to his disposition here. I trust that your brother knows you really well; the fact that he's expressed concern about your "controlling" boyfriend is a sign.

Your boyfriend needs to seek counseling with a skilled therapist and get to the bottom of his insecurities. Have a meaningful conversation with him and express how his misgivings are affecting you and that he's driving you away from your family. If he persists, it's time to get a new boyfriend that can love your brother as much as you do!

- The Armchair Psychologist

Need more armchair psychologist in your life? Check out the last installment or email armchairpsychologist@swaaymedia.com to get some advice of your own!

5 Min Read

How Fitness Saved My Life and Became My Career

Sometimes it takes falling to rock bottom in order to be built back up again. I learned this many years ago when the life I'd carefully built for myself and my family suddenly changed. But in those times, you learn to lean on those who love you – a friend, family member or someone who can relate to what you've been through. I was lucky enough to have two incredible women help me through one of my lowest moments. They taught me to love myself and inspired me to pass on their lessons each da

If it weren't for the empowering women who stepped up and brought fitness back into my life, I wouldn't be standing – in the door of my own business – today.

In 2010, I was a wife, a mother of three, and had filtered in and out of jobs depending on what my family needed from me. At different points in my career, I've worked in the corporate world, been a stay-at-home mom, and even started my own daycare center. Fitness has always been a part of my life, but at that point being a mom was my main priority. Then, life threw a curveball. My husband and I separated, leading to a very difficult divorce.

These were difficult times. I lost myself in the uncertainty of my future and the stress that comes with a divorce and found myself battling anorexia. Over a matter of months, I lost 40 lbs. and felt surrounded by darkness. I was no longer participating in my health and all efforts to stay active came to a halt. I didn't want to leave my home, I didn't' want to talk to people, and I really did not want to see men. Seeing my struggles, first my sister and then a friend, approached me and invited me to visit the gym.

After months of avoiding it, my sister started taking me to the gym right before closing when it wasn't too busy. We started slow, on the elliptical or the treadmill. This routine got me out of the house and slowly we worked to regain my strength and my self-esteem. When my sister moved away, my good friend and personal trainer started working out with me one-on-one early in the morning, taking time out of her busy schedule to keep me on track toward living a healthy life once again. Even when I didn't want to leave the house, she would encourage me to push myself and I knew I didn't want to let her down. She helped me every step of the way. My sister and my friend brought fitness back into my everyday routine. They saved my life.

I began to rely on fitness, as well as faith, to help me feel like myself again. My friend has since moved away, but, these two women made me feel loved, confident and strong with their empowerment and commitment to me. They made such an incredible impact on me; I knew I needed to pay it forward. I wanted to have the same impact on women in my community. I started by doing little things, like running with a woman who just had a baby to keep her inspired and let her know she's not alone. I made sure not to skip my regular runs, just in case there was a woman watching who needed the inspiration to keep going. These small steps of paying it forward helped me find purpose and belonging. This gave me a new mentality that put me on a path to the opportunity of a lifetime – opening a women's only kickboxing gym, 30 Minute Hit.

About four years ago, I was officially an empty nester. It was time to get myself out of the house too and find what I was truly passionate about, which is easier said than done. Sitting behind a desk, in a cubicle, simply didn't cut it. It was hard to go from an active and chaotic schedule to a very slow paced, uneventful work week. I felt sluggish. Even when I moved to another company where I got to plan events and travel, it was enjoyable, but not fulfilling. I wanted to be a source of comfort to those struggling, as my sister and dear friend had been to me. I wanted to impact others in a way that couldn't be done from behind a desk.

I began to rely on fitness, as well as faith, to help me feel like myself again.

When I heard about 30 Minute Hit, I was nervous to take the leap. But the more I learned about the concept, the more I knew it was the perfect fit for me. Opening my own gym where women can come to let go of their struggles, rely on one another and meet new people is the best way for me to pass on the lessons I learned during my darkest times.

Kickboxing is empowering in itself. Add to it a high energy, female-only environment, and you have yourself a powerhouse! The 30 Minute Hit concept is franchised all over North America, acting as a source of release for women who are just trying to get through their day. I see women of all ages come into my gym, kick the heck out of a punching bag and leave with a smile on their face, often times alongside a new friend. 30 Minute Hit offers a convenient schedule for all women, from busy moms to working women, to students and senior citizens. A schedule-free model allows members to come in whenever they have a free half hour to dedicate to themselves. Offering certified training in kickboxing and a safe environment to let go, 30 Minute Hit is the place for women empowerment and personal growth.

Through my journey, I have learned that everyone is going through something – everyone is on their own path. My motivating factor is knowing that I can touch people's lives everyday just by creating the space for encouragement and community. It's so easy to show people you care. That's the type of environment my team, clients and myself have worked hard to create at our 30 Minute Hit location.

Fitness saved my life. If it weren't for the empowering women who stepped up and brought fitness back into my life, I wouldn't be standing – in the door of my own business – today. The perfect example of women empowering women – the foundation to invincibility.

This article was originally published September 12, 2019.